England has announced its squad for its five-match One Day International series against New Zealand and one’s immediate reaction was to check out the odds about an away whitewash.
Remember, one’s starting point is this: England failed to make it out of Pool A of the ICC Cricket World Cup, losing not only by eight wickets to New Zealand in Wellington but also suffering the major embarrassment of losing by 15 runs to Bangladesh in Adelaide. England was shambolic in the ICC World Cup and the signs are that it is not going to get better in front of its own fans versus New Zealand.
England has omitted seven members of its ICC World Cup squad for its One Day International series against New Zealand – Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad and James Tredwell missed out, while Chris Woakes was not considered because he is injured. A few months ago, England selectors rated the likes of Anderson, Bell and Broad as critical to their team’s chance of ICC Cricket World Cup glory. Now the powers that be rate them as not among the best men for the job of beating New Zealand.
While England is in disarray, New Zealand is forging its greatest era. New Zealand’s current streak of seven Test series without defeat is the best by any Black Caps side and, under the leadership of captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson, they are playing the type of attacking cricket that fans all around the globe love to watch. New Zealand thumped England by 199 runs in the Second Test of their two-match series, making up for allowing the First Test to slip out of its grasp and restoring confidence.
New Zealand is one of the world’s top limited-overs teams and it looked set to win the ICC Cricket World Cup until it fluffed its lines versus its old enemy, Australia, in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. New Zealand was 39 for three after 12.2 overs and, even though Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor put on more than 100 for its fourth wicket, the damage was done and Australia cruised to title glory.
England is not one of the world’s top limited-overs teams – it is ranked miles behind New Zealand on both the One Day International and Twenty20 ladders – it has not picked its best players and its morale is lower than an underarm ball from Trevor Chappell. Apologies to anyone from New Zealand who does want reminding of Chappell’s infamous delivery.
One thinks that New Zealand represents maximum-bet material to win its One Day International series against England at odds of -200 with Ladbrokes. But the aim of this regular column is to flag good punts at big prices and, therefore, one is suggesting backing New Zealand to humiliate England 5-0 at odds of +800 with Boylesports and Ladbrokes.
Betting on the score of a One Day International series does require a leap of faith because bookmakers do not take into account wet weather. So, if one or more of the five One Day International games between England and New Zealand do not end in a positive result, 5-0 punters do their cash cold.
But the long-range weather forecast for the first One Day International match between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston on Tuesday is okay and, if the Black Caps prove too good for the Three Lions in Birmingham, those 5-0 odds of +800 are going to collapse like a home batting order.
Lump on New Zealand to get the better of England over five One Day International games and have a speculative wager on the Black Caps condemning the Three Lions to five defeats.
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